The Evening Standard is giving a boost to London’s poor by paying to transport surplus food from supermarkets to charities.
Some £50,000 from the Evening Standard Dispossessed fund, and match funding of £50,000 from the Felix Byam Shaw Foundation, is being used to kickstart the project.
An investigation by the London daily has found that 97 per cent of expired supermarket food in the capital is used as animal feed, or sent for anaerobic digestion, even though much of it is still fit to be eaten.
The Standard is encouraging readers to write to their supermarkets urging them to give more excess food to charities.
It reports that 400,000 people in London suffer from food poverty.
The paper is working with a charity set up in memory of Felix Byam Shaw, who died suddenly aged 14 of meningococcal septicaemia.
Standard editor Sarah Sands said: “It’s an incredibly ambitious and exciting challenge in the tradition of this paper’s pioneering campaigning journalism for social change.
“The attitude of some top supermarkets has hugely improved over the past 18 months, but there is still a long way to go. This campaign will help recruit more suppliers to redistribute food to yet more charities, making a huge difference to hungry Londoners.”
Justin Byam Shaw (father of Felix) said: “The idea of using surplus food, which would otherwise end up in anaerobic digestion or landfill, to tackle food poverty is such an obvious solution to two problems.
“Felix cared about the latter and would have quickly come to see the absurdity of the former. Felix is never out of my thoughts and our loss has made us determined to make sense of something so senseless by doing something good.”